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Metal Detectors

Metal detector use is prohibited in state parks and recreation areas except in the following areas:

1. Designated beach areas. From May 22 to September 7 inclusive each year, metal detectors may be used on designated beach areas from 4:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. each day. From September 8 to May 21 inclusive each year, metal detectors may be used on designated beach areas from 4:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. each day.

2. Drained lakes. When an artificial lake has been drained or the water level lowered for any reason, metal detector use may be allowed from 4:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. only after the lakebed has been thoroughly surveyed for archaeological resources and a survey report has been completed and approved by the State Historic Preservation Office. Please check with local park staff to ensure this has been done.

Tools used for digging are limited to the following:

1. Probes not over 12 inches long, one inch wide and one-quarter-inch thick.

2. A sand scoop or sieve not over 10 inches in diameter.

When digging is done to locate an item, the excavation shall be limited to three inches square when using probes and 10 inches in diameter when using sand scoops or sieves. The disturbed area is to be restored as nearly as possible to its original condition.

A litter apron or bag is to be worn or carried during metal detector use and litter dug up is to be disposed of in approved trash containers.

All items found are subject to the provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 556F, "Lost Property."

Owners of lost items may use a metal detector in areas where their use is normally prohibited only upon special arrangement with the park ranger or with the park manager in charge of the area. A written approval must be granted before metal detector use may begin.